Nubra valley is a high altitude cold desert at 10,000 feet. At Purang Valley, which lies separated from Mansarovar by the Gurla Mandhata range, his forces climbed the Gurla pass and reached Dogpacha.
Here they were caught totally off-guard by the Tibetan forces.
The only option for expansion of the Sikh kingdom was North of Kashmir into Ladakh.
In 1834, General Zorawar Singh led an expedition to Ladakh via Kishtwar, Dachin, Marwah, Warwan, crossing the Lanvila pass at 14,500 feet.
At Suru and Leh valley, his forces constructed forts for administration of the region.
In October 1835, Zorawar returned to Kishtwar but on hearing reports of rebellion, he immediately turned back and this time took a shorter but more arduous route via Umasila pass at 17,300 feet into Zanskar and Leh, which he reached in ten days.
Hundreds of human skeletons, some with frozen flesh attached to them, can still be found around Roopkund (16,500 feet), a remote glacial lake in the lap of Trishul massif in Himalayas.
In 1983, when I was seventeen, a group of senior students successfully trekked to Roopkund, bringing samples of human bones.In July 1841, GT Lushington, the British Commissioner of Kumaon in India learnt that extensive territories in Tibet have been captured.British were alarmed and decided to send Captain JD Cunningham to the Sikh Darbar in Lahore to discuss the matter as this was seen as a threat to British India.On 12th December, 1841 General Zorawar Singh was hit by a bullet on his left shoulder and died at Taklakot.Even though the morale of the forces was broken, it was only by January 1842 that the last fortifications, under the command of Basti Ram (military officer of General Zorawar Singh) abandoned their positions.
A fierce hand to hand battle resulted in the victory of Zorawar Singh, who captured the Tibetan army “Colors” flag, which till today lies in possession of the Indian Army.